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DECCAN CHRONICLE | SOUMASHREE SARKAR
Published Jul 14, 2015, 5:54 am IST
Updated Mar 28, 2019, 1:33 pm IST
Meet the three youngsters from Mangalore, who were part of the seven-member winning team of a recent reality show
Winners at the grand finale with actors Puneet Rajkumar, Dhanush and Rachita Ram.
 Winners at the grand finale with actors Puneet Rajkumar, Dhanush and Rachita Ram.
They are young, they are talented and they (unlike a vast majority of us) do not crumble under pressure. It is little wonder then that they have managed to make the best of a grueling reality show and emerged as winners. Not only are the youngsters that make up the aptly named Happiness Squad happy to have won the 7Up Upstarters (a reality show for budding dancers, singers and actors, judged by Dhanush, Rachita Ram and Puneeth Rajkumar), they have beaten contestants from all over South India to bag the cash prize of Rs 1 lakh each. We talk to some of the youngsters, who were part of the winning team. 19-year-old Nagarathna began singing when she was quite young. Even though this vivacious young girl is from Mangalore, she is a self-admitted Bengalurean by virtue of the many visits to friends and family in this city. “I am currently studying for my BCA so the one question I frequently get asked is if it’s hard to manage singing and academics. Well, it would certainly have been impossible without the support of my mother. Both my parents have been incredible and so have my friends. They are all delighted that I have won. I certainly do want to go on singing,” says Nagarathna.
 
For Wild Card entry and season 1 winner Avinash Poojary, winning for a second time was quite the high. The rumba dance teacher says, “I had just completed my BBM degree and instead of just sitting about at home and doing nothing, I decided to submit a performance video. And suddenly, I was part of a team and in the show! Being on it for a second time was simply the best thing, especially because I have always been a fan of Dhanush. Receiving advice from the man himself was quite the experience. We practiced from the early hours of the morning till late at night, often using the sidewalks leading to the shooting space to do warm up,” says the short-film maker, and singer from Mangalore. 
 
It was hard work that distinguished their squad from any other and no one believes it more than Belgaum dancer Shruti A Patil. “It was amazing to find a group of people who were ready to put in any amount of teamwork required, simply to make sure that we do our best. I am really grateful to the judges for recognising that. This was my first reality show and the experience was unbelievable,” says Shruti.
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